Top pick for
Small transfers & fast transfers
The price and speed of an international money transfer can vary greatly between different services. If you want to send money to Russia, just enter how much in the tables below and you’ll see providers best suited to your needs.
There are three main options you can use, each with their own pros and cons:
These offer some of the most cost-effective transfers, as they only trade in foreign currencies. You’ll also have a variety of options for your recipient to get the money – like to a mobile wallet or home delivery.
Services such as Western Union allow you to send cash transfers for immediate pickup by the recipient. While it’s a fast way to send money to Russia, it generally won’t match the rates or fees of dedicated money transfer services.
The Russian ruble is popular enough that your UK bank will likely offer it, at least at major branches. But watch out for the higher fees and less competitive exchange rates banks offer compared to the other options.
To get an idea of costs, let’s compare these different transfer options and associated fees. This table uses real fees and exchange rates and is current as of 11 April 2020.
|Bank transfer||Cash transfer||Money transfer service|
|Fee||£20 + additional correspondent bank fees||£1.90||£2.99|
|Exchange rate||1 GBP = 89.77 RUB||1 GBP = 90.429 RUB||1 GBP = 91.47 RUB|
|Transfer speed||2-4 days+||Minutes||Same day|
|Amount received||RUB $177,763||RUB $180,859||RUB $182,667|
The bank option ends up being both the slowest and most expensive way to send money to Russia. If you go with the specialist money transfer service, your recipient ends up with RUB $4,904 more on the same day. However, if speed is what’s most important, the cash transfer can’t be beaten for instant transfers.
It depends on what method you choose, but the fastest one is instant and the slowest can take up to a week. Since banks need to transfer your money through several correspondent banks, it takes the longest. Cash transfers are the fastest way to send money to Russia and normally arrive in minutes, but typically cost more.
There may be times when you need to send money to Russia as quickly as possible. When you find yourself in such a situation, remember to check the exchange rate and any fees that apply to your transaction, as urgent transfers will usually cost more. Read the details of your transaction to prevent any nasty surprises.
Cash transfer services can also help if either you or your recipient is unbanked. If you don’t have a bank account, look for transfer services that have agent locations so you can go in and pay in cash. These cash transfer services will also have agent locations in other countries where your recipient can pick up the cash without needing a bank account.
Sending money to Russia is subject to standard taxes in the US, so be sure to file it accordingly when paying your taxes. However, specific dangers exist for Russian money transfers:
While foreign gifts generally aren’t subject to income tax, you still need to file the form with your taxes or face penalties.
Before initiating a transfer, have the following in place:
Keep all of the paperwork associated with your transfer in case you need proof that the money was sent.
When sending money to Russia, use the following list to compare banks, cash transfer and money transfer services to find the best deal:
The exchange rate is how much one country’s currency is worth in another country’s currency. If you plan to send money to Russia, you’ll get more money when either the pound sterling is strong or the Russian ruble is weak.
You’ll also see that the exchange rate you get quoted from money transfer companies differs. Compare what you get quoted with the mid-market rate below, which is what your money is actually worth.
Picking up cash from a transfer agent in Russia? Follow a few simple steps to ensure that you and your money stay safe:
The Russian ruble is popular enough that it should be carried by nearly all major money transfer companies, which is why you have a lot of options if you want to send money to Russia. Be sure to compare the fees and exchange rates offered by many different money transfer providers to get the best deal.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.